Nikon Taking Aim at Young Smartphone Users

As the point-and-shoot digital camera category continues to struggle for relevance against the soaring popularity of smartphone cameras, camera manufacturers are scrambling to stem the mobile imaging tide.

While most of these efforts have centered around the aforementioned point-and-shoot camera market, at least one well-known camera maker is focusing their efforts on directing shooters to higher-end imaging tech. Nikon is introducing a campaign this week, well-timed for the Christmas shopping season, that is clearly aimed at the millennial point-and-clickers who are taking more photographs than ever. The problem is, they have been taking them with their smartphones.

Nikon, quite simply, would prefer they begin capturing them with a DSLR, preferably one of theirs’.

With a budget estimated to be in the $5-$7 million range, the campaign carries the tagline “I am Generation Image” and the first two videos have surfaced on YouTube, as Nikon is taking to social media, rather than television or print, to hit the target audience – those aforementioned young millennials.

The first video is titled “Stream” and essentially speaks to how this generation is using their images to express themselves and subtlety asks this demographic if their images are truly saying enough.

The second video, titled “Journey” gets more to point of the campaign and explains if you’ve got something to say through your images, why not use a better camera to say it with.


Canon has had some success with their “Bring It” that also challenged the quality of what smartphones can produce on the imaging front and challenged consumers to begin capturing life’s moments with better imaging tools ad share them on their “Bring it” microsite.

It will be interesting to see the reaction, as well as the eventual results, to this latest Nikon campaign as the effect the smartphone insanity has had on the point-and-shoot camera market has been dramatic.

According to the Japanese Camera & Imaging Manufacturers Association (CIPA), the compact digital camera category saw a whopping 43% drop in shipments in the first half of 2013. It’s safe to assume that point-and-shoot sales will continue to be cannibalized by smartphones as the imaging capability in these devices continues to improve. Increased megapixels, improving optical zooms, image stabilization, new in-camera editing tricks and just flat out better lens technology are all either already part of the smartphone camera mix or are coming soon.

It’s been said for a quite a while now and is proving to be quite true – the best camera is the one you have with you at the time and now-a-days that’s almost always a smartphone. Whether or not the new compact DSLR and/or mirrorless camera categories can change all that remains to be seen.

And for those of you that simply won’t let go of your smartphone, we understand, and also encourage you to check out Zoner’s free Photo Studio Edit & Go Android app for seamlessly uploading and editing images from your smartphone on the go. The app will also automatically back-up your mobile photos to in addition to giving you a range of editing options that will make your holiday mobile snapshots shine.

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AuthorMichael McEnaney

I am a veteran technology journalist with over 20 years experience covering consumer electronics and imaging tech as well as launching, editing/writing content, selling and marketing a variety of publications and websites. Most recently I helped NAPCO launch the network of consumer tech websites and also helped launch the popular tech website as well as launching his own website at that covers all consumers can do with their digital images and videos after they’ve captured them. My true passion has always been photography – both capturing life’s most precious moments as well as covering the pros that capture the world.

Comments (4)

  1. Michael, as you well know “I Am Generation Image” is totalling meaningless in English. It is the use of English often seen on the T-shirts of French school children where I have yet to see one that makes sense! Yes, the words may be English, but any Englishman would be nonplussed to make sense out of them. Thus, I would have no clue as to what Nikon was intending to promote by using this slogan. It is completely lost on me and so, would I suspect, on millions of others with a proper command of English.

    So Nikon falls at the first hurdle. But I doubt whether any camera manufacturer will have much success in tempting mobile snap shooters away from their mobile phones. And the reason is simple: along with the Lomography craze, the vast majority of camera phone users are quite happy with “good enough” image quality, not better. And it is not difficult to see why. The better camera phone images are, indeed, “good enough”.

    When will camera manufacturers grasp why the smartphone is so popular as a photographic tool? It is small and truly pocketable but, more importantly, it is the social networking capability of smartphones that completely eclipses the use of larger, bulkier, better quality imaging devices. And having spent so much money on a quality smartphone, many of these users don’t see any mileage in spending an equal amount on a proper camera, be it a quality compact through to a dslr?

  2. Can’t say I disagree with your thoughts but here’s to hoping traditional camera makers never stop trying as it’s a comfort to know a better image capture will always be available.

  3. @TERRYB If the expression “is totalling meaningless” was correct per se, then you could perhaps question Nikon’s intentions. Otherwise, you shouldn’t even try to show off your skills in this way.

  4. Tomas,

    I wasn’t showing off my skills. I am English and I abhor abuse of my language. As English may not be your native language, judging by your name, you may not read the same into what I said as a native English person would who has command of his language. It is a great pity that you chose to personalise this and it does you no credit. Sorry.

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